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happy monday.

so far it’s been a good one.
i got myself into workout gear and did my Pump workout.
i really wanted to skip.  but i had skipped the day before so i couldn’t do that again.
i knocked that out of the way and now i’m working at the Craft House.

last week we had the best date night!
and it was for craig’s work… so technically not even a date.

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Avett Brothers came to wichita again!
they are in our top five favorite bands.  (probably in the top two…)
this was our third time to see them in concert.
i was smiling all night.
i love those avett boys.
i just watched a ton of youtube videos trying to find the perfect one but i always end up back to the 15 minute session on NPR.
it’s just my favorite.
the BEST part is Seth at 4:44 (ha ha ha)
they don’t sing it like that on the album but ever since i saw this video a few years ago i insist to craig that it be sung that way in the car and with great volume.
:)
and at the concert… THEY DID!!!

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and i bought my first concert t-shirt!

wait….that’s not true.
i bought one at a sandi patty concert in 6th grade… i borrowed money from a friend to buy it…and still owe her that money.
and oh how i wish i had a photo!!!
it was a GIANT oversized shirt with i think a rainbow colored scribbly kind of drawing of SP singing.
it went fabulous with my perm and stir-up pants.
i feel like i’ve shared too much….

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anyway…
craig left the next morning for a ski trip with his friends.
i asked for group selfies and he sent me several.:)
i have decided the my love languages are (i have several)
1. going to the movies
2. going to concerts
3. group selfies
4. bringing me hot coffee in the morning

HA.
i am so darn happy that he is out having a good time!
he works hard at everything all. the. time.
this guy deserves a break and time to just have fun!

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with him gone i was in charge of getting annie to her first basketball tournament.
oh boy.
the weather was AWFUL and i was a mess but we made it.
i may have even started crying in the car when we finally arrived safely.
i was mad for several hours at the weather but that does no good does it?
annie did great!
i can’t believe the love that has built in my heart for kids basketball in the past 10 years.
i am so grateful for that.
because if i didn’t have it… these tournaments could be great dividers instead of uniters.
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they are 10 years old so everything is still about learning how to play.
everything she said about losing or frustration or missed shots i would answer with some form of:
“you’re learning a lot in every game”
“i liked how you stayed feisty”
“just keep trying”
because you know there are so many parents out there that break your heart at those games.
it’s rough you guys.
they get craaaaazy.
it’s the most bizarre thing to watch go down.

bottom line: she loves basketball.

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this is what happens when you forget to collect the eggs in freezing weather…. bummer.

 

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lastly…. i HAVE to tell you about a big giveaway with Marta over at FourFitSisters.com!
They are giving away a Les Mills Pump program!!!
that’s worth A LOT of money and also… it’s no longer available!
what a super prize!

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Go over to FourFitSisters and enter to win the whole PUMP program!
it’s my favorite workout i have done.
i am getting stronger every workout!
i love knowing i will be strong enough to add all the weight on eventually.
i KNOW IT.

hope your monday is going well.
craft house laundry is half done… planning my meals & workouts for the week… waffle has a haircut today… and a huge list of emails need to be written.

blerg.

 

Lynn - Use those eggs to make hard boiled eggs. They will peel SUPER easy!

jill - I think “stay feisty” is going to be my new life’s mantra =)

Barbara (WA) - I always cried at Sandi Patti concerts – and I was already an adult :)

jen - Stir up pants! I totally forgot about those….I wore them A LOT and loved them! And I totally agree with you, some of these parents are CRAZY! My son is 9 and into basketball and some of the parents are jumping up and down screaming at the poor kids. It’s insane.

Michelle Deckert Richmond - Kids sports….where we spend a good chunk of our time. I read somewhere the best 6 words to say to your child….”I love to watch you play.” They smile everytime I say this to them. I have 3 girls in hockey and one girl in horseback riding. Michelle from Canada.

Melissa - Hey Meg,

I wanted to get your real opinion on this workout. I have been over to their site and I was looking at the Pyro workout. My friend which is an exercise instructor said it was really hard.

Do you really like this one you are doing now?

I am not a fan of exercise, but I feel better when I do it. I need to find an exercise program that I can do five days a week just to stay in shape and be able to eat sweets!

So I would appreciate your thoughts.

Warmly,
Melissa

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thursdays…

i like thursdays because they are close to fridays.
i used to love thursdays because of must see tv… but i don’t really watch much anymore.
Parenthood is over and i am feeling like I’m through with series.
greys will finish up soon.
madmen is almost done… and i think I’m done.
is it my age?  what is it?
is it the new era of dvr and internet where i can pull-up anything whenever i want?
i don’t love anything like i did when i loved my fave shows.
it’s probably just that i miss those too much.
Seinfeld… Friends… ER…. Office… 30 Rock…

everything else is just those same stories over again.

moving on…
annie started piano lessons again.
by choice.
talby starts this week.
i love hearing them practice.
(although if i hear “All of Me” by john legend one more time i may die)

the other night annie was stalling before bed time and i walked in and caught this:IMG_2200IMG_2195
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i love her rainbow room so much.
(and she loves stuffed animals a little too much!)
but to be sure i am always “keeping it real” over here she told me recently that she can’t wait to re-do her room in a complete basketball theme because she is going to play in the WNBA and wants her room to look very sporty.
OY VEH!
i can remember my first lesson in humility regarding room decor with lauren.
she was probably 8 and we had painted her room just the prettiest way i thought it should be.
yellow floral Martha stewart bedding… matching curtains… i even painted plaid on the wall!
and then… she taped magazine photos of animals all over the walls.
ALL OVER.
and that did not match.
i tried to tell her how these pictures did not flow with the look i was going for.
ha ha ha
but SHE thought they looked really nice.
she chose her favorite animals and knew why they were here favorites.

i think that’s when i learned that it was going to be ok.
(it probably took many more lessons but i do recall that night)
my home should reflect all of us… not just MOM’s idea of pretty.
everything doesn’t have to look like a magazine.
and no matter their style is… it’s OK!  it’s GOOD to have an idea!
it’s GOOD to know what you like!
if you like animals… GREAT!  if you like basketball… GREAT!
i hope someday annie gets her dream room.
although it’s pretty darn great right now… maybe we should switch bedrooms…. what do you think craig?  want to bunk up in the rainbow room with me?  ha ha ha

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wednesday likes to sit in the sun… especially on the hood of my car.

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i made Marta’s meat muffins the other night at 8 pm.
(the recipe she shares now is a little different… eggs, zucchini and lots of spices… maybe she will blog it?)
i make them for me… not the whole family.
i COULD feed it to them…. but then i don’t have my stock.
i freeze all but 6 and then eat two at a time for meals during the week.
when my 6 in the refrigerator are gone i pull another container from the freezer.
it’s great protein when i want to eat cookies.  :)

and then when i was done… i made pumpkin waffles at 10 pm.
i used this recipe by paleomg.com.
they are definitely gluten free & dairy free as far as taste but i am trying to eat that way so when everything tastes that way then you get used to it.
i freeze these also except for a few.
i heat one up and spread a little almond butter and strawberry jam on them.
i make strawberry jam by putting strawberries in food processor.
nothing else added.
:)

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so those are two things i am eating to help me stay on track with my health.
remember my 2015 word was ACTION.

although… this week i have been sleeping like a bear in hibernation.
im not sure what the deal is but i am so tired.
hopefully it will go away soon.

this was yesterday morning at our house.
i just said “enough!”  (not in a mad way… just exhausted)
i am feeling tired and this does not help.
i mean… this is normal when 6 people share a space.
this is 6 people each leaving one or two or five things out.
and if it doesn’t get picked up… it multiplies.
and this is with the dishes done.
it’s so much worse when the sink is overflowing with dishes.
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so i made a new chart.
it was time.
we used to have a whole system when the kids were younger just for sanity
but when we moved to the farm i never made it again.
now it’s back in a newer simplified form.

annie’s charts are her own personal movitation charts.
she gets to choose a treat of her choice when she completes it…not just the .99 ice cream cone.
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yesterday was the first day.
i walked in at 9 pm from the garage and the smell of bleach was overpowering.
so i learned that i had to teach HOW to do these jobs.
we went over which cleaners to use… tools to use… what “put stuff away” means…. and how a counter top FEELS when it’s clean.
:)
and this morning it was so happy to walk out to a clean kitchen.
they agreed that it felt nice to have it clean too!
ahhhh.

so if you got your kids started on their laundry…. maybe the kitchen is the next place.
your kids are going to hate that “Meg from Whatever”
HA!

my kids also load and unload the dishwasher.
scott & sean alternate loading and talby & sean alternate unloading.
(i step in and wash pots and pans… and load or unloadload when kids have been busy and having it done is better than waiting.)
no one likes this job at our house.
but who does?!
this is good for them.
we’ve been doing this for YEARS too.
it used to be lauren & scott loading and talby & sean unloading.
annie was too short.
but when lauren moved out… annie moved up.
it’s working.

chores are good.
they are!
i love being a mom so much.
but i don’t want to wait on them hand and foot.
my kids are able to help and we think they should.
they still have so much time for fun.. this is just life & helping each other out.

 

Michelle Deckert Richmond - Welcome to my life…..I hear yah.

Necole@seriouslysassymama - My 11 year old does her own laundry. Her job is to also keep the bathroom clean. My younger two have to put away their clothes and keep their room clean. I give them each a list of chores to accomplish every Sat. Otherwise I do everything else. I find it cathartic when I clean my home. That, and I may be a little OCD.

kassondra - The end of this post almost sounded like you were defending your reasons for having your kids do chores. MEG, stop that! Our kids chores are much easier than when we were little and a thousand times easier than generations past. Your not causing damage to your children your teaching them valuable lessons in this chore system. Keep it up!

Heather S. - Our girls have quite a few chores and expectations around the house (dishes, mopping, laundry, cat care, etc). They have to – I homeschool them! I can’t be their teacher AND the lunch lady AND the bus driver AND the janitor as well as being mom. They have to pitch in. And they do. Like champs. You are SO right. You have to actually TEACH them how to do these things first, but then it reminds me of potty training. A bunch of hard work up front for a few days, but then sit back a bit and enjoy watching them grow up. I always say I’m not raising children – I am raising future adults. It takes constant training to get there, but every once in a while we get to just admire their growing responsibility and maturity. That’s what being a mom is really about – training them up, not waiting on them hand and foot.

Julie - My dishwasher has just died on us, so each morning the sink is filled with hot soapy water, and we all wash our breakfast dishes and leave them in the rack to drain while we are at work and school. Then in the evening my two children have to wash and dry all the dinner dishes. Certainly won’t hurt them, that is what I had to do as a child.

Nanette - Thanks for the motivation! We are struggling right now with chores and responsibility. And I’m going to try those meat cupcake/muffin things.
My boys decorated their shared room the other day by taping over 100 hockey cards to the wall. At first I wanted to make them take it down…but they love it. And they actually did a good job by getting them spaced and straight. I figure someday they will talk about it when they are old…”hey remember when we taped all of our hockey cards to the wall? That was the best!”

crissy - i love that you keep it real! it isn’t any less inspiring – but it’s hopegiving ;)

do you make your strawberry jam when you want it or do you make a jar and refrigerate it? i love the idea of making it and am wondering if that is one less thing i can buy from the store – and less sugar. thanks!!

jennibell - Agreed! On everything. . .except the eating part. Meg, you look GREAT and I know it’s taken you a lot of time and sacrifice and YEA FOR YOU!!! I just *can’t*, no matter what, get on the “eat food I don’t like” wagon. I got a FitBit and when my calories are up, they are up. . .I’m not being picky about how I use them. Exercise is key anyway.
Youngest does the trash every single time it needs to be taken out. Next youngest unloads dishwasher (expectation is that it is to be done by 7 a.m. every day) and 2nd oldest loads. Oldest is in charge of the yard, taking trash to the dump. . .he gets of “easy” in the winter months but works very hard spring/summer. It works for us.
The kids have naturally begun to do their own laundry. Things weren’t getting done as quickly as they liked (ha!) so they will, many times, do their own. I’m glad they know how. And every one of them (ages 11, 12, 14, 16) can make a meal for the family. So. . .parenting is the *greatest* job (http://jennisseasons.blogspot.com/2011/09/greatest-job.html) and I am so happy that God blessed me with the challenge!!
Enjoy your weekend :)

Alice H - I miss ER!! Oh George Clooney!!

My 5 year old LOVES to help unload the dishwasher. He also likes to do laundry, mainly the towels and washcloths. He has a helping heart for sure. And I am doing a lot better at encouraging him than I did with my 14 and 16 year old back then. Ha! They have to do their own laundry, help clean up after dinner, and they are in charge of the upstairs (their bedrooms, bathroom, and hall). If it isn’t all cleaned up and presentable by Friday, they don’t get to do anything during that weekend. It works!! Love your kitchen chart and I have a chalkboard, may have to do that too!

Amy Woods - I agree! It’s great the kiddos help with the chores. Their future roommates and families will so appreciate it. My poor son is an only. He thinks he has too many chores. I say whatever. What does he think, that I took him to raise? Oh. wait.

;)

Kathi - Your counter looks similar to mine just add a bunch of tools the hubs didn’t put away and you’ve got mine.

sharon / theprincipledtype.blogspot.com - A clean, beautiful white kitchen makes Everything better, -in every department :)

Carrie - My girls are 4 and 7. It is the small toys and my 7 year olds books ( she reads 3 to 4 chapter books a week, guess I should not complain about my voracious reader). That stuff I pile on the stairs and threaten them. I wanted to start my 7 year old doing laundry and she was on board but she still can not reach down into the washer to get her clothes and I need to problem solve it. Quite honestly I need that chart for my husband!!! The girls help to unload the dishwasher, clear the table, clean toilets, and make beds. My 4 year old loves to make her sister’s bed!

Lisa - Great! I love the chores. I do the same (I’m a mom of 3 soon to be 4). Any way to get them involved is good and worth it in the long run. Laundry & toys need to be put away before they get to watch their show at night. Works for us.

Loved your comment about Lauren changing her room, too! My oldest (almost 8) does the same thing and hangs posters and tiny pieces of paper that are oh so important all over her room and it secretly drives me crazy! I am regularly reminding myself to chill out… House Beautiful is not coming to photograph my home. Perfectly imperfect, right? :)

Jenni - Meg, you’re awesome in so many ways. And, interestingly enough, my husband is applying for a job in Lawrence, KS. We currently live in California. When I think of life in Kansas, one of my first thoughts is , “how could I become friends with Meg Duerksen? If I have to move to Kansas, hanging out with her would make life easier. ” :)

Lisa - Love that your systems aren’t complicated. I need to revamp our chore list and your post was the reminder I needed to just keep it simple. :)

Kristi - I love reading your posts! They are so refreshingly real! And can I just say that I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to clean on their own?!! Can.not.wait!! Hope you get your pep back soon. I am being spring will put a bounce in my step. No more jackets weighing me down.

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winners and pins

Talby’s fundraiser went above and beyond what we were hoping for!
because of your awesomeness… she raised 117% of her goal for His Safe Haven!
she raised $6300.  what??
that is so cool.
it’s just SO COOL!!!
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the housing is taken care of for His Safe Haven for A WHOLE YEAR!
my heart is full.
i am proud of talby!
i am thrilled that you helped!
i love those kids in Liberia!

so the winners of the two big prizes are….

KATI (KATALIN MESZAROS)

HEIDI DEVEREAUX

ladies… email me with your address.
my email is under my profile pic in the right sidebar.  :)

 

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craft weekend was super.
they were late nighters and that’s totally great.
i just slept it off today.
squeezed in a workout at 5:00 and fed my family left overs for dinner.
i watched the oscars last night too.
it’s been awhile since i have remembered to watch!
i love to see all the dresses & winners but really i just want to wear a fancy glittery dress like they do.
i really do.
but that kind of stuff just doesn’t happen around here?!
bummer.

and since i always like to share my fave finds…. enjoy these!

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i want to make these... or at least eat them.

 

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i wish that was me in that chair….

 

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i want to make this!

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i think i need more washi tape….

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i want to eat this.  like… right now!

 

winners… send me your addresses.
thanks again to all 149 people who donated to His Safe Haven.
you rock!

Lori - Love that beach picture and the washi tape, too!

Jenny B. - Oh, that blueberry whatever it is! I have been seeing something similar popping up on Pinterest, and I WANT IT! My husband is the baker, and he made something new that LOOKED really similar this weekend. But, when I took a bite of it, it was all I could do not to choke and spit it out. It was called soda bread, and it had raisins and caraway seeds in it. It tasted like rye bread. I think it might have been good if I had been expecting the flavor, but when you think you’re about to taste buttery blueberry sweetness, it really is a shock. :) ANYway… Your desire to wear an Oscars-worthy dress reminded me of a Bunco party my friends had. We play Bunco once a month, and the hostess usually tries to come up with some sort of theme. Well, one time, they had an Oscars night, and everyone wore glittery formals! Well, some people didn’t dress up (I would have been one of them), so the hostess had press badges for those girls. It was great! You should totally do something like that. :)

Flower Patch Farmgirl - WHAT????!!! I just came here to donate (keep forgetting!) and read this. Yay Talby!! So proud of your obedience and your Jesus heart!

chrissi - so proud of talby♥

KirstenP - You picked your green color for your hutch before Better Homes and Garden picked it as part of their Color Palette of 2015!!

http://www.bhg.com/blogs/better-homes-and-gardens-style-blog/2015/02/17/vintage-living-bold-with-color/?socsrc=bhgfb0224155

sharon / theprincipledtype.blogspot.com - oh dear. hEaLtHy chocolate bars!! where have they been all my life??! i want to eat those while walking a red carpet in a glittery dress.

Michelle from Australia - The bathing boxes in the photo are on Brighton Beach in Melbourne (Australia). They are well known as Aussie (Australian) icons. I took a photo of them when I was in Melbourne last year. But I wasn’t organised enough to have a model recline on a sun lounge for me! And as someone who lives in the tropics, I look at that picture and think ‘Gee that looks hot in that sun. Why aren’t they in the shade?’ :)

Amy - Hi Meg!
Thank you for blogging. Today is a day where I really was needing a lift and you and your words and pics did it! Oh, and I hope you received the Christmas card that I sent you of our family. I am the Amy Collett from Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada with the husband and 4 boys plus pets in the pic. Take care! A prayer of thankfulness for you and your blog will be lifted up to our sweet Saviour today.

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i love friday!

i mean really… who doesn’t love friday?
and for me i really love a Craft Weekend friday.
(it means there are margaritas at the end of the day)
:)
i am all packed and ready to head to the Craft House for the weekend… after i workout & shower.
then i get to buy flowers… i love the excuse of CW to buy flowers!
and today we will finalize the crafty details.
but let’s talk about the last week….
we finally had a chance to take lauren out for her 20th birthday!

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it is weird… weird that my kids are all so big.
so grown.
i love this stage.  i loved them as babies.  i loved the toddler phase.  i miss every stage.  and i am sure i will miss this phase too.
it’s all good.

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sean really wanted to get his learner’s permit last week.
he studied a lot and he passed!
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and then we went driving… oh what an experience!
i had mentioned on Instagram that it is truly a roller coaster of emotions.
fear and pride and joy and humor and LOVE and more fear all in one.
he is a good driver!
my favorite phrase is “more brake”  or probably more like “more BRAKE!!!”

(a learner’s permit in kansas that means you can drive ONLY with an adult in the car)

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this movie was hilarious!
it was great for the whole family!  all my kids thought it was good.
if you need a family night movie… this is it.
it is out on dvd now… we saw it at our second run movie theater.

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waffle needs a haircut.

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this is what it is like at all times at our house.
this is how everyone (except me) watches tv.
not kidding.
throwing a ball in the air the entire time…. and craig is probably asleep there on the couch.

yesterday i drove my friend Pam back to the airport to go home to Africa.
i selfishly want her here close to me.
i want to eat mexican food with her and hang out.
i don’t want her an ocean away.
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they had 22 checked suitcases!  there was much more than in this picture even!
it was quite a site.
and now they are home.
i am already planning my visit back to see her.  :)
because… africa & pam & babies & love… it’s the best.
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i gave her a big long hug three separate times before i felt ready to go.
then i just bolted so i wouldn’t cry and make a scene.

i spent the day yesterday setting up the sewing machines at the Craft House.
and opening the swag from all of our RAD sponsors!
we have never had so much for on weekend.
it was not on purpose – we just had so many people respond this month!
and they knocked it out of the park!
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then when i got home late last night there was more yet that had arrived yesterday!
this group of CW guests is the luckiest group ever.  :)
i can’t wait to share their shop discounts with you soon!
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and lastly… you guys are SO AWESOME!
talby’s fundraiser for His Safe Haven is at 88% right now?!!!
she is almost to her goal!  let’s keep going!
she is so excited about it.
we can’t wait to pick winners for the big prize giveaway on monday!
there is (of course) still time to donate and enter to win!
click here for talby’s fundraiser and here for the giveaway post details.

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AND thank you for all the love you have been passing out to me from this post.
y
our comments,emails, texts and even letters (like IN THE MAIL?) have been so good for my heart.
i was feeling weary.
you have given me strength and reminded me of so much goodness.
THANK YOU.
i like you guys.

KatieV - The picture of you in the passenger seat while Sean drives is PRICELESS. I love it!

Liz R. - So I want to be (like) you when I grow up. I am a mama to two very little littles, but seeing your beautiful family makes me want to have FIVE too! Maybe I’ll start looking for my own craft house. ;) But seriously I am so inspired and encouraged by you!

chrissi - so happy for sweet talby. you have taught your family so well. you have such a big heart. please keep us updated on pam and her adventures. she is a hero too♥

sharon / theprincipledtype.blogspot.com - It was my birthday this week so boy have my thoughts run the gamut! Including the things u touch upon here: pretty flowers, kids getting older (Hpy Bday Lauren!), good friends, the world). One cute son reminded me while we ate bday cake of the song I once told him I wanted played at my funeral. Yes! Ha-ha, lol, I guess they really do listen to EvRyThInG we say!
Well, it is a beautiful song, so I’m sharing :) Happy Weekend All!
http://youtu.be/537v5Avw_mU

Barbara (WA) - You have inspired me to add more color to my life! Have a fabulous craft weekend :)

kelly - Haha! Love the balls but that drives me craaazy! That and wrestling. Now our two year old has become obsessed with a WWE Scooby Doo and all he wants to do is ‘resso’

Kirsten J - We like you, too. And. In Washington, the kids get a permit as soon as they turn 15 and they are enrolled in driving school (only kind of offered at high school….basically, you have to pay $700 at a private driving school). And that’s it. You’re right, it’s scary and great at the same time. And I do the quick gasp/brace myself a little too often for my girl, but dude! She comes so close sometimes! Phew!!

Danelle - LOVE your shirt…..today is indeed a great day. Do share where it is from!

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